Species
Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Luxury Lodge
Fishing Style
Dry Fly, Sightfishing, Wading
Season
October - April
Fishing Days
4 - 10+
Rate
$$$$
Why We Go
  • Sight-fish for large brown and rainbow trout in a pristine wilderness setting
  • Experience top-notch luxury and service on the North Island of New Zealand
  • Enjoy extensive travel companion experiences including mountain biking, shooting courses, horse riding, hunting, hiking, Maori culture classes, cooking classes and wellness programs
  • Fish some of New Zealand's most exciting and beautiful rivers with a combination of 4x4 and helicopter access
  • Enjoy gourmet cuisine prepared by world-class chefs
Overview

Poronui’s unique combination of world-class wilderness fishing, elegant accommodations, gourmet food and wine, varied non-angling activities and modern conveniences has earned them a devout and loyal following from around the world. Located near the center of the North Island and east of Lake Taupo, Poronui's 16,000 acres are recognized as some of the finest and most productive trout and game habitat in the country, if not the world. Anglers visiting the ranch can expect to fish new water every day. In addition to their nearly 25 miles of private water, Poronui has special access to vast tracts of Maori-owned land as well as a limitless supply of remote public water. Much of the access is gained via modern off-road vehicles or helicopter fly-outs. For adventuresome anglers, float trips with the option to overnight at remote, stream side camps are a must.

Accommodations are simple yet elegant, with guest cabins offering the expected modern conveniences such as high-speed, wireless internet access. Exceptional local cuisine is complemented by one of New Zealand’s finest wine cellars featuring over 10,000 bottles of award-winning local and international wines.  For non-anglers, Poronui offers a wide range of activities, including a robust equestrian program, stunning native forest hikes, mountain biking, gym and health club facilities, billiards, sporting clays, and a luxurious safari-style tent camp located a day’s horse ride from the lodge. 

Fishing Program

Within a 50-mile range of the lodge, anglers at Poronui have a wide variety of rivers at their disposal. The lodge sits next to the Tahaura River and the famous Mohaka River also flows through the property. These nearby rivers provide excellent fishing opportunities, but when taking into account the additional access provided by a helicopter, the options increase greatly. Anglers at Poronui fish two per guide and take turns sight-fishing to large brown and rainbow trout. The guides are Kiwis and most have been working at Poronui for a long time, becoming as much a part of the experience as any other element.

November and December are considered the early season, but it is truly one of our favorite times to fish Down Under. While water can be high and the weather can be a bit unsettled, angling pressure is low and the fish are typically far less spooky than later in the year. Nymphing is the predominant technique then, catch rates are high and the wildflowers are at their best. January and February are the most popular months to visit New Zealand. The weather is at its best, water levels are typically stable and the dry fly fishing peaks. Angling pressure also peaks but with the aid of a good guide, solitude can still be found. These dates are best booked at least a year in advance. By mid-March, the crowds start dwindling, the weather remains favourable, and the fishing can still be excellent.

Accommodations

The lodge at Poronui has evolved from what was once a rustic, remote fishing camp into one of the world’s finest fishing holiday destinations. It plays host to the most discerning international anglers and visitors. From the main lodge itself, guests can watch the Taharua River flow through the valley and have a great view of the evening hatch. A typical evening at Poronui offers log fires to sit by, great company, and the comforts of a big chair and glass of New Zealand's finest wine. The lodge is equipped with a drying room and laundry facilities, and a well-equipped fly-tying bench and library of books and journals. There are also excellent storage facilities for rods and all other equipment.

The lodge is famed for its hearty gourmet food and wonderful cellar of fine New Zealand wines. It is here that guests find a roast dinner like no other. Anglers also discover that their riverside picnic lunches, in the middle of nowhere, are one of the best meals they’ve ever had.

Additional Experiences

Poronui also offers a wide array of other activities. It is also a world-class hunting lodge and guests can try their hand at mountain biking, hiking, beekeeping, honey tasting classes, horse riding, Maori culture classes, wellness and spa programs, culinary classes, and shooting courses.

Rates & Details

2023-24 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

March 22, 2023 - December 6, 2023:

  • 7 night/6 day package: NZ $9,315
  • 4 night/3 day package: NZ $5,055

December 7, 2023 - March 21, 2024:

  • 7 night/6 day package: NZ $13,625
  • 4 night/3 day package: NZ $7,475

March 22, 2024 - March 31, 2024:

  • 7 night/6 day package: NZ $9,875
  • 4 night/3 day package: NZ $5,375

Included: Accommodations, all meals and house alcoholic beverages, same day personal laundry service, guiding and any gear needed and access fees.

Not Included: Transportation to and from the lodge, premium alcoholic beverages, optional fly-outs by fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter, fishing licenses, gratuities.

Species: Rainbow trout, Brown trout

Lodge Capacity: 7 rooms (double/twin) (12 anglers)

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Anyone will enjoy their stay at Poronui, but to be an effective angler guests need to be in decent physical shape. Guests will hike two to five miles per day to access the best fishing and the hiking can be challenging in places.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located on the North Island of New Zealand about one hour south east of the city of Taupo by car.

How do I get there? To get to Poronui Lodge guests need to fly to Auckland (AKL) and then to Taupo (TUO), New Zealand. Once in Taupo guests will need to either rent a car and drive roughly one hour to the lodge or take a shuttle for a fee. Most international flights to Auckland arrive early in the morning and the connecting flight arrives in Taupo in the early afternoon. The lodge asks that you contact them when you arrive in Taupo to schedule your arrival and all guests should plan to be at the lodge after 2:00PM.

When should I go? The main fishing season is from October 1st to the end of April. Peak summer fishing is from mid-December until early March. The fishing is excellent throughout the season, but the approach varies as the year progresses. Early season is when the locals choose to fish. The fish are hungry coming out of winter and river flows are good. Unlike in the USA, the rivers around Poronui are unaffected by snow melt. Typically catch rates are higher at this time of the year with nymphing the predominant technique though there will be opportunities for dry flies on warmer days. Once the weather warms during the long summer days there is a lot of terrestrial activity and dry flies are more successful. Depending on the weather, fishing can become more challenging as flows drop and temperatures increase. Heading in to Fall, the pattern reverses with more sub-surface fishing and fish starting to move pre-winter spawning.

How will I fish? All fishing at Poronui is walk and wade fishing with a guide. There is usually one guide to two guests.

Is there wade fishing? Yes. All fishing at Poronui is wade fishing.

Where will I fish? Poronui is situated as the hub in the middle of a wide range of rivers and streams that head different directions to the sea off the high central plateau. As a result, there are many waters available to fish, especially within a short helicopter ride. Expect to fish differing waters from small streams to large main rivers. Beats are rested between being fished.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Guests could literally fall out of the lodge and land in the Taharua River. It does not get much closer than that. The Taharua and the internationally renowned Mohaka River both flow through Poronui. The lodge fishes a wide range of rivers - most are within a radius of about 50 miles. We highly recommend guests take advantage the helicopter program. The helicopters collect guests from the lawn outside the lodge and are then transported to some of the most stunning and remote waters guests will ever experience.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? The fishery is primarily a brown and rainbow trout fishery.

How many fish will I catch? In general, the fishing is relatively challenging. Guests should not expect to catch huge numbers of fish in a day, though the fish are a good size. Three or four fish are considered a good day in New Zealand, though naturally some days guests will catch more. Rivers can be demanding, and success is earned rather than taken for granted. The surroundings and fish are simply superb. It is what keeps people coming back year after year.

Will I see other anglers? The rivers that Poronui fish flow through remote areas it is rare to encounter other anglers while fishing. It cannot be ruled out entirely though as fishing is a popular activity in New Zealand. The lodge does their best to plan their fishing days, so the fishing is not interrupted.

What are the guides like? The guides at Poronui are all keen anglers that enjoy nothing more than sharing experiences with guests on waters that they have grown to know and love. Just like their guests who tend to return year after year, so do their guides. This makes for strong friendships and a team like approach to fishing.

What are the physical demands? Anglers should be able to hike or walk at least two miles per day and be used to walking/wading over uneven ground.

Are there any special skills required? Not really, but the better the angler is at making a good presentation the more fish the angler will catch. The ability to listen and follow the guide’s instructions will often increase success rates.

Does the lodge provide equipment? Yes, the lodge and guides can provide waders, boots, rods, reels, flies, and terminal tackle, but guests are welcome to bring their own.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? The standard set up for Poronui is a fast-action multipurpose 6-weight rod with a weight-forward floating line and a 15-foot leader.

What are the top flies? Most of the standard trout patterns – hare’s ear and pheasant tail nymphs, with and without bead heads and the variants are reliable nymphing patterns. High floating dry flies such as Royal Wulf, Stimulator or hopper patterns are good in the fast-flowing streams particularly during peak summer when cicadas are number one on the menu for surface feeding trout. Your guide will have a range of go to patterns that are proving successful. Guests are welcome to bring some of their own favorites – a change in flavor can work wonders during tough times.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? The guides at Poronui fish the headwaters of several rivers in different catchments as such, it is very unusual to be blown out completely. As conditions necessitate, the guides can often change plans. Part of the change of plans can be to fish waters from different catchments, more sheltered waters and even rivers closer to home. There are always other activities for guests at Poronui. These can include the art of fly tying with your guide to produce the deadly pattern for the next day. Honing casting technique or taking a break from fishing altogether and enjoying other less weather-dependent activities.

What is a typical day like? Guests normally enjoy breakfast between 7 and 8AM then depart for fishing between 8 and 9AM. The day is spent on the river with transport either by four-wheel drive vehicle or helicopter depending on the location. A packed lunch is provided. Anglers usually return to the lodge between 4:30 and 5:30PM. It is customary to head in for a social drink and appetizers while sharing stories and photos of the day with fellow guests. There is time for a shower and change before dinner in the lodge at about 7:30PM.

While this is the general timing there is plenty of opportunity to customize for individual tastes. Some guests like to head out later after a more leisurely morning while others may prefer to return a bit earlier in the afternoon

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The lodge is warm, welcoming, and friendly. There is an excited buzz to the lodge during the fishing season. Everyone is there to enjoy the fishing and the excitement is contagious. Guests often comment that they arrive as guests and depart as friends. Poronui has a very high level of repeat visitation.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Yes. There is always an on-site manager at the lodge.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? While often overshadowed by the unrivaled fly fishing and outdoor pursuits aplenty, the food at Poronui is rated by guests as one of the highlights. This is unsurprising, given Poronui’s membership of the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand. A condition of membership (in addition to all round excellence) is world-class cuisine. Poronui’s menus change daily depending on the weather. Their philosophy on food is to source locally grown food in season. Dishes are guaranteed to be homemade and fabulous. Breakfast sets guests up for the day with a plethora of options. Lunch can be a picnic on the go with freshly baked goods or something light back at the Lodge. Dinner is shared among friends and always kickstarted with appetizers and pre-dinner drinks. The team of chefs are adept at catering to any specific dietary needs and preferences. Due to its wonderful remote location, the lodge recommends guests advise them of any special requirements prior to arrival, for the availability of the widest range of special menu options during the stay.

What is the alcohol policy? House wine and beer are included in the package. Hard alcohol and wines on the cellar list are not included.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Anglers stay at Poronui. The property is 16,000 acres in size and has two rivers on the property itself. There are three choices of accommodation on the property – the seven-chalet lodge, the owner’s villa (Blake House) or the luxury tent camp on the banks of the Mohaka River. Each offers a different experience. At the Lodge, expect to mingle with like-minded enthusiasts. Both Blake House and Safari Camp are taken on an exclusive use basis and are great for both families and groups.

Is there internet and/or cell service? Wi-Fi (and internet calling) is available at the lodge. Guests may lose cell service in the backcountry.

Are there other activities? Yes lots! Poronui is a world-class hunting lodge and offers a wide array of other activities. Mountain biking, hiking, beekeeping, and honey tasting classes, horse riding, Maori culture classes, wellness and spa programs, culinary classes and shooting courses are all available at Poronui.

Are there any other expenses? Guests will need to purchase a New Zealand fishing license and there will be transfer costs to get to and from the lodge. If guests would like to spend a day helicopter fishing or doing other activities there will be fees involved, but they are not hidden expenses.

Do I need a visa? Most visiting guests to New Zealand do not need to acquire a visa but will need to buy a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). A NZeTA can be acquired for NZ$ 9.00 if you use their ap or NZ$ 12.00 if you do it online. The IVL is purchased at the same time and costs NZ$ 35.00.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? New Zealand does not have dangerous or poisonous animals. If driving themselves during their stay visitors need to be aware that vehicles are driven on the left side of the road – the opposite to North America.

We recommend that guests always consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines before traveling.

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